Partnership with Northrop Grumman
Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) has developed a strong partnership with one the largest aerospace defense contractors in the world, Northrop Grumman. In 2014 Northrop Grumman was awarded one of the largest defense contracts in our nation's history. The contract was directly linked to the large base of operations that Northrop Grumman maintains in the City of Palmdale, in LA County. That location is a large hub of production for Northrop Grumman and would serve as the front line for the work associated with this new contract.
With this new contract pending release, Northrop Grumman had a dilemma, they would need to hire an estimated 5,000+ new assembly and production employee's, to meet this new demand. This task was very urgent and daunting. With an eye towards bridging the needs of commerce and using the resources afforded under the WIOA legislation, the Economic Business Development (EBD) team from WDACS engage Northrop Grumman and partnered in meeting their training and employment needs.
Since that partnership was established in 2014, over 1,000+ local participants have been trained in a customized training program that was created to meet the hiring demands for Northrop Grumman. Over 2,500 of the local residents of LA County have been hired to be a part of the work that Northrop does every day.
In February of 2020, the leadership team at Northrop came to WDACS and EBD leadership with another urgent hiring need. Northrop was in need of hiring 1,700 people in 2020 and was asking for assistance in meeting this high demand. The LA County team began to mobilize its resources and to plan several massive job fairs that would be hosted and run through the American Job Centers of California in the Palmdale, Santa Clarita and Valley regions. These events were set to be held in March…and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
This crises literally caused the way that normal business was conducted to come to a compete halt. As such, the team needed to get creative in still meeting the hiring demands of a partner employer, while conforming with the safety guidelines established for COVID-19. The leadership and AJCC teams decided to quickly pivot and to conduct the planned recruitment….100% virtual! This was a very daunting task, given the fact that the recruitment was anticipated to attract over 500 people!
The team set to work and used its resources to set up the event and true to expectations, the event had 497 people who registered for the virtual event. Using ZOOM technology, the team was able to pre-screen and prepare 250 applicants for formal interviews with Northrop Grumman. These applicants were scheduled and directed to their ZOOM interviews by the AJCC's. Northrop Grumman had over 15 hiring managers who participated in the three day digital hiring event, that yielded a result of 175 people getting job offers of employment! All of this was done, via technology and
while adhering to social distance guidelines. Nothing of this size and scope had ever been attempted before in the past.
Due to the great success that was had during this first digital recruitment, a second event was put on the calendar for the first week of May. This second event is currently under way and has had an even bigger response from the general public. Almost 1,000 people registered for the recruitment and are in process of being pre-screened and prepared for interviews with Northrop Grumman, next week. This partnership is a highlight of what can happen when the needs of business are combined with the creative resources and abilities of the Workforce system.
HireUP is a high road training program for job-ready adults, 18 and over, who are homeless and/or at risk of homelessness. The County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors (Board) has determined to prioritize County services to County Target Populations, such as those that HireUP serves. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the County is currently experiencing a homelessness crisis with nearly 59,000 men, women, and children homeless on any given night. In response to this crisis, the Board approved 53 strategies to address homelessness. Of the 53 strategies, C2 and C7 aim at increasing subsidized employment opportunities for the homeless population to increase their chances at self-sufficiency. Notably, the correlation between lack of employment and homelessness is evident, prompting the need for a focus on workforce development. Through HireUP, the County is facilitating a more effective coordination of employer-driven work-readiness to best ensure that individuals preparing for employment gain the skills and experience that employers require.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, negatively impacting the region's travel and hospitality industries. In response, on March 15, 2020, Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced the "Safer at Home" order. As a result, the ability to train the program participants in all three sectors (Hospitality, Construction, and Civil Service) has been brought to a standstill, in adherence to the State and local orders requiring the "Safer at Home" order. Moreover, on March 31, 2020, the Board of Supervisors enacted a "hard hiring freeze" which affects all those in the Civil Service training and placement program. Finally, the Apprenticeship Readiness Fund works directly with LAUSD on all construction-related training. Seeing as the construction training is physically demanding, it cannot be conducted virtually. Thus, construction training is on pause until classes resume and it is safe to congregate.
Despite, the training standstill, our partners have adapted to conducting all recruitment efforts (i.e., outreach, assessment, referral, and onboarding) virtually. Since, Covid-19 our parterner (e.g., Goodwill) have:
Continue to virtually outreach to more than 40 community-based organizations referral partners throughout Los Angeles County
Conduct virtual sector-specific assessments (e.g., Casa assessment)
Continue to outreach/recruit to more than 15 homeless shelters by conducting video conference orientation/meetings
Continue to virtually refer HireUP participants to sector-specific training partners at a pace similar to FY Quarter 3 (pre-pandemic)